At the Dec. 10 meeting of Ponoka County council, the rezoning of the Glasman property to direct control was approved by council with Coun. Mark Matejka the lone dissenting vote. This means that a development application can be received for the proposed metal recycling business.
However, this also leaves all of the decisions regarding the conditions of the permit up to the discretion of council. In other words, council can apply regulations and make the operation subject to whatever conditions it would like to see.
This zoning also means that council has options available if the conditions of the permit are not being followed, other then the lengthy and expensive legal route that may not have the desired outcome.
A date for when the development permit application will be discussed was not yet available.
A property that has been a thorn in the side of area residents and, at times Ponoka County, for the last couple of years has nearly reached the finish line on its goal of operating a metal recycling business.
Bryan and Shauna Glasman, owners of ProMetal Management, were able to convince council during a public hearing Nov. 26 that their request for direct control zoning for a portion of their land — located south of C&E Trail between Hwy. 2 and Range Road 263 — was appropriate.
However, it wasn’t unanimous.
Coun. Mark Matejka voted against both first and second reading of the rezoning bylaw before opposing the call to give it third reading, moving that final vote to council’s meeting on Dec. 10. (The result of the vote on third reading wasn’t available at press time.)
During the public hearing, a presentation was made by Elizabeth Armitage from Vicinia Planning on the application. This was done since the county’s employee responsible for this was on leave at the time.
Armitage outlined that the current area structure plan allows what is proposed and that accepting the direct control rezoning designation would allow council to determine the exact conditions that could be included in a development permit.
She added her report has detailed conditions for council to consider for landscaping standards, acceptable height of buildings and stored materials, parking limitations and road access, signage and hours of operation. Also included is limiting the size of the operation to 10 acres inside the current parcel and a minimum 40 metre setback from roads and 10 metres from other property lines.
The Glasmans spoke at the hearing and feel this application will not only allow them to operate a business that is needed and will be well used, while also working to limit possible visual and noise concerns. They added that there are some other businesses in the area that also generate truck traffic and their operation won’t affect the use or enjoyment of neighbouring properties.
Several opponents also made presentations at the hearing, most of which focused on the fact the Glasmans were operating for some time without a permit and they feel now the county is rewarding that. There were also concerns about excess noise, potential ground contamination and destruction of area roads.
After the hearing, council held a discussion around what to do about how narrow the access roads are, what kind of enforcement could be done under the new zoning versus what can currently be done and just what kind of details council can actually put on the development if it reaches the permit stage.
CAO Charlie Cutforth did state it is challenging now for enforcement, which would mean a lengthy and costly legal battle that may or may not get the desired result. Meanwhile, having direct control with a permit would provide more “actionable” enforcement if conditions are not being met.